ST JOHN’S, Antigua– Low cost carrier, REDjet has been granted permission to begin commercial service to Antigua and is hoping to commence flights in the next two months. CEO Ian Burns confirmed this for The Daily OBSERVER, saying he is excited about the development since the airline sees the country as a potential hub.
“We are delighted. Antigua is a very important part of the Eastern Caribbean and is like a little hub in itself,” he said.
“We are excited about flying there. We would like to develop some more routes out of there as well. We would see Antigua as a starting point and we hopefully would be going into bigger destinations.”
Burns said REDjet received the approval letter from the Antigua & Barbuda Air Transport Licensing Board last Thursday.
“There is certain information that licensing boards want. They want to see the technical qualification certificates, etc. And then there is certain economic information they require as well. They want to see what your fares are, what your structures are,” Burns said.
Burns told this newspaper yesterday, “We are not going there to operate on that many LIAT routes. We are actually going to develop new routes and revive those that might have been there before but not serviced for some time. We are going in to develop some other longer routes out of bigger markets for Antigua.”
But initially, service will begin with a non-stop flight from Antigua to Guyana. He said the airline has to first establish a number of “things” including a distribution channel, before it can “launch in the market by around early October.”
There has been much talk from several quarters that REDjet cannot sustain the US $9.99 fare. The airline executive reminded that only 15 per cent of the 149 seats will be for that price.
“We promised that and we are honouring that commitment,” he said. “We have been very open and explained to people how our fare structure works.”
The price increases by US $10 as it gets closer to the departure date and as demand grows.
REDjet has already received permission to fly to Guyana, St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis as well as Trinidad &Tobago and Jamaica. – Antigua Observer
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